Snagging an open CEO seat these days is tough: Today’s departing CEOs cling to their jobs for an average of 10 years (up from 7 years a decade ago), and a stunning out of 10 CEO hirings come from internal candidates (just two years ago, 40% of new CEO hires were external). “Boards are sticking with the status quo and not seeking significant strategic shifts,” write the authors of a new report by the Conference Board and executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles.

If you are aiming for the C-suite’s top seat, here’s what to do:

Gun for a role held by an older CEO. CEOs over age 64 logged a 23% transition rate last year, as opposed to 10% for CEOs under 64.

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